I love beautiful fabrics and anything that sparkles – mirrors, glass, chandeliers, diamonds!
I love the musicals of the 1930/40s, Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers and Busby Berkeley. Edith Head designed some of the amazing costumes. I also love Erte who designed the most stunning outfits for Diaghalev’s Ballet Russe and beautiful covers for Harpers and Queens.
I started sewing at the age of 5, making dresses for my dolls on a child’s Singer hand sewing machine. Age 7, I watched an item on ‘Blue Peter’ on how to make a doll’s dress, which really got me into hand sewing. Age 11, and self taught, I started making my own clothes using an electric sewing machine – and never looked back. I did a 1 year Art Foundation course at Cardiff College of Art and then 3 years at University of Westminster, Harrow campus, graduating in Fashion and Textile Design. As part of my course I also studied millinery and silversmithing. Since then I’ve qualified with NVQ4 Advice and Guidance and NVQ3 PTTLS (Adult Education teaching).
I was awarded FCSD (Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers) and had a BAFTA Wales nomination when I worked as a Costume Designer at the BBC. While at the BBC, I worked on a number of Light Entertainment programmes, so I was surrounded by sequins and diamante. I just love glitter and sparkle. After leaving the BBC to bring up my young daughters, I ran a successful couture bridal design studio using sumptuous silk fabrics and was awarded the Fellowship of the Society of Artists and Designers. I then moved on to specialise in designing and making silk wedding veils using only the very best quality fabrics and decorations. I’m probably the only bridal veil designer specialising solely in making bespoke silk wedding veils. I decided to make silk veils because of the limited selection in the bridal shops. I want all brides to have the choice and opportunity of wearing a beautiful silk wedding veil. I’ve always loved the feel of beautiful fabrics. Being a trained fashion designer, friends would often ask me to make their bridal gown and I always suggested a silk veil to compliment it. Also, a standard size shop bought veil doesn’t suit everyone.
The word ‘bespoke’ originally meant ‘spoken for’. The customers would visit the tailor to order a garment, the fabric would be cut and put aside for them. This is what I do with my veils. As I receive each order, I cut the required length of silk tulle and put it safely in a bag with the order form until I’m ready to make the veil. I make veils to the bride’s specific required length and style consulting with the bride throughout the whole process. My veils are made to measure so the bride can have the correct length to suit her. Shop measurements can sometimes be confusing because the length of the veil usually includes the length of the blusher. I use separate measures for each tier.
The style of veil is a bride’s choice. She should have the veil she wants and never feel pressurised into wearing something because it is the ‘proper’ or ‘right’ way. Each bride is an individual and should do her own thing. I make suggestions and work with the bride on her ideas. Decoration on the dress and length of train need to be considered when deciding on a style. The veil shouldn’t distract from the total look of the outfit. The eye should centre on the bride with the veil creating an aura around her. I can add lace, silk ribbon, Swarovski diamante, crystals, pearls, bespoke embroidery – just about anything. One bride had an embroidery design around the edge which echoed her engagement ring and another had a replica of her Grandmother’s vintage 1940s silk veil.
I’m happy to offer advice even if a bride doesn’t place an order with me.
You only wear a veil once so enjoy it!